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Random Questions Thread:

Hello, fellow writers! Got any question that you can't find answer from Google or Wikipedia, but you don't think it needs a separate thread for? You came to the right place!

Don't be shy, and just ask away. The nice folks here, writers and non-writers, experts and non-experts, will do their best to help you.

Here are links for special interest threads, mostly at OTC, but also from Yack Fest and Troper Coven.

Now, bring on the questions, baby!

edited 12th Oct '14 2:07:28 PM by dRoy

 6701 Mr Mallard, Tue, 29th Jan '13 11:44:59 AM from Australia, mate
Artibi
Okay, I got the punishment down.

For endangering a handicapped freshman, the guy gets a 3 day suspension. Even with it being an accident, he shouldn't have had her taking part.

And the blind chick gets off with the haunting experience of being yelled at by a very angry japanese man.
When life is holding you hostage, is it any wonder you develop Stockholm Syndrome? - Malchus
 6702 Last Hussar, Tue, 29th Jan '13 2:15:06 PM from the place is here.
The time is now,
Peasent, there are definately Morris Minor enthusiasts- I've a feeling (which I can't prove) that it was one of the first cars widely owned in Britain, so a lot of people have fond memories
Do the job in front of you.
[up] Thanks Hussar. smile
 
 6704 Yomegami, Tue, 29th Jan '13 7:23:15 PM from out of nowhere Relationship Status: In denial
Sanely Insane
What was the closest thing the Middle Ages had to a conventional bathroom? I'm getting a bunch of conflicting answers.
I don't have to be alone.... If everyone suffers with me...I won't be the only one...!

3DS FC: 5386-9780-1242
Cheesus!
I think outhouses would work.

So, in my story, if you steal another person's soul, then the existence of multiple souls in your body will drive you nuts. My character has a mark that forcibly sucks the soul of any nearby recently deceased person inside him. But I'm stuck at trying to explain why he got it. Any ideas ?

 6706 Mr Mallard, Tue, 29th Jan '13 8:39:59 PM from Australia, mate
Artibi
He pissed off a witch? Death himself? Fell in magic mud?
When life is holding you hostage, is it any wonder you develop Stockholm Syndrome? - Malchus
 6707 cityofmist, Tue, 29th Jan '13 11:15:23 PM from Meanwhile City
turning and turning
[up][up][up]In castles and wealthy houses they had toilets called garderobes. It would be a little room coming off one outer wall so that the excrement could fall down onto the ground. I don't know for sure but I imagine the toilet itself would be little more than a seat with a hole in it. One king of England was famously killed by being stabbed through that hole.
Scepticism and doubt lead to study and investigation, and investigation is the beginning of wisdom.
- Clarence Darrow
Thanks, Crystal Glacia. [awesome] (Whoo, this thread moves fast!)
Sanity is quieter, but madness is more interesting.

My tumblr
 6709 Marq FJA, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:00:01 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
I suspect that there's a subtle but important distinction between "founder" and "founding member", but I can't quite figure it out. Can someone explain it to me?
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 6710 Septimus Heap, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:02:39 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Quasar
"Founding member" often means "one of the first".

"Founder" is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

 6711 Marq FJA, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:03:38 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Okay, let me rephrase: When is member of an organization a "founding member" of it, and when is a "founding member" of it not a "(co-)founder"?

edited 30th Jan '13 10:04:07 AM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 6712 Septimus Heap, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:05:17 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Quasar
One of the original 5P could be called "founding members". They would not be "founders" as they didn't create the job by itself.

 6713 Marq FJA, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:17:55 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Gotcha. I assume that the actual founders of the 5P are the TV Tropes staff as a group. What about cases when the (co-)founders are themselves members of the group/organization in question — like a mercenary unit?

edited 30th Jan '13 10:18:45 AM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 6714 Septimus Heap, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:20:03 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Quasar
They could be both.

 6715 Marq FJA, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:28:56 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Yeah, but... When is a "founding member" not a "(co-)founder" in this case? And what would count as a "founding member", too? Would soldiers and other military-related professionals recruited into the mercenary group at least relatively soon after its actual founding count as "founding members"?

edited 30th Jan '13 10:29:50 AM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 6716 Septimus Heap, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:33:41 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Quasar
Not sure what your question is, TBH. Isn't that what I addressed before?

 6717 Marq FJA, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:50:23 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Well, sort of. Maybe I should explain the little plot that involves this.

My story has a Colonel Badass and her Ragtag Bunch of Misfits-like covert-ops military unit go rogue after discovering the excesses of the government that was employing, on top of their prior disillusionment with governments and even private corporations over the course of their undercover activities (think Shadowrun's setting). They decide that they're not going to stand idly, though, and create an independent Private Military Contractors group that aims to fight against the world's corrupt governments and corporations. It starts with just themselves, but gradually grows through recruiting similarly disillusioned people across the world, most of which they meet on the battlefield either as allies or as (temporary) enemies, a la Big Boss.

So... Would this rogue unit's members all count as "founders" of the PMC, or just their commanding officer and The Smart Guy who helped work out the major details of the intended vision for said PMC before bringing it to the "rank-and-file" members' attention for relatively minor contributions/fine-tuning? And how "far" would the category of "founding members" extend regarding those who get recruited after the foundation proper?

edited 30th Jan '13 10:50:41 AM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 6718 Septimus Heap, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:53:47 AM from Zurich, Switzerland Relationship Status: Mu
Quasar
They would be all "founding members". On "founders"", I would say only the initiative-takers, but it can go either way.

 6719 Madrugada, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:54:02 AM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
The founders: The person or people who created the group in the first place. They thought of it and set it up.

founding members: The first members of a group, including the people who are founders.

A founder is always a founding member. A founding member does not have to be a founder.

Example: I decide to start a book club. I look around for a place to meet, figure out how often and when it will meet, and send out invitations to join to a number of people I know. I'm the founder. The people who join from the first list of people I invited are the founding members, but they are not co-founders with me.

In your example, the commander and the guy who helped him set it up are co-founders. The rest of the original unit are founding members.

edited 30th Jan '13 10:56:35 AM by Madrugada

...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
 6720 Marq FJA, Wed, 30th Jan '13 10:57:46 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
And the people who they recruit within the next few months/couple of years wouldn't count as "founding members" when someone makes a list a decade or two later, I persume?
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 6721 Ars Thaumaturgis, Wed, 30th Jan '13 4:41:12 PM Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
[up][up] A founder is surely not a founding member when they are not themselves a part of the group? For example, a person who puts together an assassin unit but who himself has no other ties to it — perhaps his job is putting together specialised units — would presumably be a founder, but not a member, let alone a founding member.

 6722 Madrugada, Wed, 30th Jan '13 9:42:31 PM Relationship Status: In season
Zzzzzzzzzz
^^ Correct. Those people who joined later were not founding members.

^ Generally, "founder" isn't used to refer to a person who has no connection to a group beyond setting it up and then disappearing.
...if you don’t love you’re dead, and if you do, they’ll kill you for it.
 6723 Marq FJA, Thu, 31st Jan '13 4:03:07 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Correct. Those people who joined later were not founding members.
Thank you very much. That was quite informative and helpful. Sure, I may have to alter a few things in my draft, but it would be very much worth it.

Generally, "founder" isn't used to refer to a person who has no connection to a group beyond setting it up and then disappearing.
I think he meant "has no other ties to it" in the sense that s/he has no actual position within the group's internal hierarchy per se, but they still answer to him/her — similar to how the US Secretary of the Navy is not a member of the US Marine Corps' or the the US Navy's respective organizations per se, but the Commandant of the USMC and the Chief of Naval Operations, the most senior Marine and Naval officers respectively, answer to him nonetheless.
Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
 6724 Ars Thaumaturgis, Thu, 31st Jan '13 6:16:13 AM Relationship Status: I've been dreaming of True Love's Kiss
[up][up] Hmm... Fair enough, now that I think further on it.

[up] Actually, I think that I now agree with Madrugada: the term "founder" implies that the person in question was a member as well as the person who instituted the group.

 6725 Marq FJA, Thu, 31st Jan '13 6:21:36 AM from Saudi Arabia Relationship Status: Shipping fictional characters
O' Allah, save Egypt
Then what would you call someone who founds a group, but is never a member of it per se?

edited 31st Jan '13 6:21:47 AM by MarqFJA

Ash-shaʻb yurīd isqāṭ ḥukm al-ʻaskar
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